Ben Jonson

(11 June 1572 – 6 August 1637 / London / England)

Christmas, His Masque (Extract) - Poem by Ben Jonson

Why Gentlemen, doe you know what you doe? ha!
Would you ha'kept me out? Christmas, old Christmas?
Christmas of London, and Captaine Christmas?
Pray you let me be brought before my Lord Chamberlaine, i'le not be answer'd else:
'Tis merrie in hall when beards wag all:
I ha'seene the time you ha'wish'd for me, for a merry Christmas,
And now you ha'me; they would not let me in:
I must come another time!
A good jest, as if I could come more than once a year;
Why, I am no dangerous person, and so I told my friends, o'the Guard.
I am old Gregorie Christmas still

Comments about Christmas, His Masque (Extract) by Ben Jonson

  • Susan Williams (3/22/2016 12:55:00 PM)

    I though there was something going on below the surface so I jumped on my horse and a-googling I went. So this is what Wikipedia had to say among other tidbits: Early commentators tended to dismiss Jonson's masque as a piece of holiday fluff, often noting that the work is less a true masque and more of a mummers' show. Modern critics have looked beneath its surface to detect serious political, social, and cultural implications. Jonson's text, in promoting a traditional Christmas, was taking a position favored by King James I and opposed to the contemporary culture of the merchants of the City of London and especially that of the Puritans, who were overtly hostile to the traditional holiday. The text of the masque shows an abundant and rather biting satire aimed at the anti-Christmas forces in Jacobean society. Thank you Wikipedia (Report) Reply

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Poem Submitted: Friday, April 9, 2010

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